BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Kevin Hogan ignited No. 15 Stanford’s sputtering offense and led the Cardinal to a 48-0 rout of Colorado, the Buffaloes’ first shutout at home in 26 years.
Hogan picked apart the nation’s worst defense, throwing for 184 yards and running for 48 more in just two quarters of work, and the Buffaloes were powerless to respond, gaining 76 yards of offense behind a trio of overwhelmed quarterbacks.
The Cardinal (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) handed the Buffs (1-8, 1-5) their first shutout at Folsom Field since a 28-0 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 15, 1986, snapping a streak of 150 straight games in which the Buffs had scored at home.
Hogan replaced senior Josh Nunes, who has found it difficult to follow in the gargantuan footsteps of Andrew Luck, the top pick in last spring’s NFL draft. After Stanford’s first two drives ended in punts, Hogan came in and led the Cardinal on six straight scoring drives before punter Daniel Zychlinski was needed again.
Hogan completed 18 of 23 passes with two touchdowns, no interceptions and two sacks. He came in with a second left in the first quarter and watched the fourth quarter from the sideline after giving way to Brett Nottingham with the Cardinal comfortably ahead 45-0.
With big games looming against Oregon and Oregon State, Cardinal coach David Shaw wanted to get more of a look at Hogan, who led Stanford to touchdowns on his first four drives, putting the Buffaloes in a 35-0 halftime hole.
The Buffaloes lost for the 11th straight time to a ranked opponent. They didn’t reach Stanford’s side of the field until tight end Nick Kasa’s 20-yard catch at the Cardinal 33 with 9:16 left in the game. But a sack two plays later cost them 24 yards and pushed them back across midfield.
Stanford scored its first two TDs off turnovers.
Free safety Ed Reynolds got the rout started when he intercepted Jordan Webb’s pass and returned it for a 52-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Linebacker Chase Thomas led him into the end zone by blocking Webb, whom coach Jon Embree decided to stick with after toying all week with the notion of starting sophomore Nick Hirschman instead.
Hirschman came in on the next series but was sacked twice and Webb returned on the next drive. However, Webb’s first pass of that series went to Kasa, who was blasted by cornerback Alex Carter, popping the ball into the air, where linebacker A.J. Tarpley grabbed it.
Three plays later, Stepfan Taylor ran untouched for a 26-yard touchdown that made it 14-0.
Hogan then drove the Cardinal on touchdown drives of 70, 65 and 58 yards to make it five-touchdown game at the break. Jamal-Rashad Patterson’s 42-yard reverse set up Remound Wright’s 1-yard scoring run and Hogan had a 1-yard TD toss to Zach Ertz after scrambling for 20 yards on third-and-9 and then hitting Levine Toilolo with a pretty 32-yard pass.
Taylor added a 2-yard TD run with 8 seconds left in the half after Patterson came down with Hogan’s 20-yard pass on third-and-14.
In the second half, Hogan threw a 19-yard TD pass to Toilolo that made it 45-0 after Stanford’s first drive stalled and Jordan Williamson kicked a 31-yard field goal.
Nunes finished 3 of 5 for 23 yards for the Cardinal, who had fourth-string QB Robbie Picazo in at game’s end.
This was Stanford’s first visit to Colorado since 1990, when the Buffs won 21-17 and went on to win the national title. The Cardinal’s last win in Boulder was a 33-0 shutout in 1904.
The Buffaloes were without linebacker Jon Major (elbow) and they lost defensive lineman Justin Solis to a neck injury in the third quarter.
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